The Publishing Post
Cover Artist Erick Dávila
By Maisie Jane Garvin and Juliette Tulloch
In this issue, we are excited to shine a spotlight on cover design artist Erick Dávila. Dávila is a new and upcoming graphic designer and artist based in New York, who has worked with some huge names including HarperCollins and Soul Cycle. Most recently, he has gained popularity from working with author and poet Elizabeth Acevedo on the book cover for her hugely successful releases With the Fire on High and Clap When You Land. Dávila is especially known for his work featuring people of colour, using his love for drawings and design to create works of art that primarily feature Latina and Black women who are so often sidelined by mainstream design and media. It is easy to see in his designs this passion to visually represent his own experiences.
Elizabeth Acvedo’s novel, With the Fire on High, came out in May 2019. The cover of the book features the protagonist, Emoni Santiago, whom Erick Dávila has captured beautifully in a portrait style, conveying the character as a strong and fiery young woman. The presence of the fruit and herbs hints at the narrative which surrounds Emoni’s love and talent for cooking; indeed, the blood oranges and tangerines especially, create a tropical aura matching the character’s talent for pairing unusual Caribbean flavours within the novel. The choice of the reddish-purple background colour compliments Emoni’s skin tone whilst allowing her to almost seem at one with the ingredients surrounding her. Check out Epic Read’s interview with Dávila and HarperCollins designer Erin Fitszimmons on the process behind the cover design here.
Set to release in September 2021 is Zoraida Córdova’s adult magical realism novel, The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina. The plotline surrounds a family searching for the truth hidden in the past, the narrative is set to jump between Orquídea’s past and her descendants' future. The cover work by Dávila is fantastic, instantly drawing any potential reader in. Again, featuring a prominent female character and utilising rich colours, Erick tweeted from his twitter account to explain “I had to deliver a vision as rich as the content” and undoubtedly, he did. The stunningly beautiful woman created, whose features are spotlighted, and whose dark hair is flowing, portrays her as almost goddess like. The subtle yet unmissable sparkles that are dotted around her place Córdova’s book firmly in the magical realism genre. If the cover is anything to go by then The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina, is not one to be missed!
Debbie Rigaud is the author of bestselling novels like Truly Madly Royally and her first standout YA Perfect Shot. She is now releasing a new teen-fiction in June this year, Simone Breaks all the Rules. Advertised as perfect for fans of the To All the Boys I Loved Before series and Booksmart, this new teen romance uncovers what it means to come from a Haitian immigrant family and grow up in today’s age. Dávila’s signature front portrait style graces the cover of Simone Breaks all the Rules, in front of a vibrant pink background adorned with intricate butterflies, clearly the perfect summer read! Striking and detailed, this is an inviting cover design sure to inspire young readers to follow Simone’s hectic life at an all-girls school.
Off the Record by Camryn Garrett is set to release very soon, in May of this year, and will be perfect for teen readers. Centring around seventeen-year-old journalist Josie, it is packed with romance, secrets and the need to fight for justice. The plot explores the ‘#MeToo’ movement and the cover design matches the teen genre perfectly, light pastel colours are on trend in this specific market and is contrasted with overlapping magazine clippings. The layering of these clippings, bursting out of the sides onto the portrait of Josie, illustrates the explosive nature of the stories. Dávila’s graphic design skills proudly assert the normalcy of a successful, Black female lead within novels like this which will hopefully contribute to the discourse that encourages diversity across every publisher’s list, regardless of their lists’ preferred genre.
Want to find out more about his work? Check out his socials for more: